March 2006

London waste focus of Government consultation

London— Working more closely with businesses and retailers in key sectors to reduce waste and recover more resources from what’s left is just one of a number of proposals being put forward in a major consultation on the Government’s strategy for waste in England.

Minister for Local Environment Quality Ben Bradshaw said that the Government’s current strategy needed a broader approach and a change of emphasis, “We’ve made some really positive progress since 2000: recycling and composting of household waste has doubled, nearly 50% of packaging waste is being recycled and less waste is being sent to landfill. We need to also move towards a recycling culture, and one way to help achieve this is to encourage recycling at work as well as at home.

Proposed measures include:

•Greater focus on producing less waste in the first place by developing a greater emphasis on eco-design, increased engagement with businesses in waste prevention, including more agreements with businesses to take greater responsibility for their products at the end of their life.

•Recovering resources from waste from businesses through new targets for a reduction in the amount of commercial and industrial waste landfilled, more help for small businesses to reduce and recycle their waste and a more joined up approach in managing waste from different sources, facilitated by local authorities and regional bodies.

•Simplifying the regulatory regime and making it more proportionate through reforms to the permitting and exemption systems, better guidance and communication and targeted risk-based enforcement.

•Targeted enforcement action to tackle waste crimes from flytipping to illegal exports to prevent legitimate businesses from being undermined by free-riders.

•Developing a recycling culture by shifting our thinking so that the recycling of resources is part of our everyday activities whether at home, at work or during leisure.

•Making proper use of new investment to recover energy from waste as an alternative to landfill but not at the expense of practical waste prevention and recycling by seeing a more modest growth than original estimates. Waste Strategy 2000 set a target for 67% recovery of waste by 2015 by recycling, composting, energy from waste (incineration, pyrolysis and gasification) and digestion with at least 33% composting and recycling.

The consultation paper and accompanying Regulatory Impact Assessment and Environment Report are available at www.defra.gov.uk.

 


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